TravelPro® Maxlite Luggage Review
If there’s one trend that’s dominated luggage purchases in recent years, it’s the big push toward lightweight luggage and bags. Consumers are demanding lightweight luggage not only to avoid airline weight limit fees, but for their own comfort and usability as well.
TravelPro® has answered that need in a very big way with the Maxlite 2 line of lightweight luggage. Maxlite 2 continues TravelPro’s long tradition of quality – it’s a line of luggage that is well made, loaded with features more commonly found in more expensive bags and is reasonably priced, both carry-on and checked.
TravelPro’s interesting story…
If this is the first time you are hearing about TravelPro® brand, it ‘s worth mentioning that this company should hold a special place in the hearts of all travelers. It was back in 1987 that a Northwest pilot first developed the concept for wheeled luggage that became the original TravelPro Rollaboard.
Over the years, TravelPro® became known for providing good-quality carry-on luggage that was used frequently by flight crews. To be sure, you can hang out at any boarding gate today and chances are good that a crew member will walk by rolling a piece of TravelPro® luggage onto the plane.
Who is the TravelPro® Maxlite luggage best for?
Luggage is an individual thing – what works for you may not for me. Who seems to do best with the Maxlite series?
– Lightweight luggage is the most important factor in your purchasing decision
– Quality is key – you are looking for dependability
– Someone who’s tired of buying cheaper luggage that doesn’t last
– A good-looking, modern, yet classic bag, with a color option in addition to black
– Needs to be absolutely sure the bag will fit on the overhead compartment (the 20’’ virtually all flights, the 22’’ on most, if not expanded)
– Looking for quality luggage to give as a gift
– When buying things online, wants to buy items that are ‘best sellers’ or very positively reviewed by consumers
The Pros and Cons of TravelPro Maxlite Luggage:
I read hundreds of online reviews when I research a product – I appreciate the opinions of others and I’ve come to trust the collective wisdom of large groups of consumers. You tend to see a pattern of what is liked, what is disliked and what is missing with a particular bag, as well as an overall feeling about what type of buyer might be best suited for this bag.
What conclusions did I draw about the TravelPro® Maxlite?
Extremely Lightweight – at just over 6 lbs (for the carry-on size), this is clearly the most important functional feature of this bag. This is an exceptionally light bag.
How Functional is the Space? – the Maxlite 2 has a clean, wide-open interior packing space, almost a trademark of TravelPro luggage in general. Many people leaving reviews commented favorable, saying they liked that TravelPro ‘doesn’t have any space-eating dividers or compartments that I never seem to use anyway’. But just keep this in mind. No bells or whistles on the inside compartment, good for keeping the bag weight down.
Quiet – all TravelPro bags get high ratings for a quiet, smooth ride, probably due to the quality of the wheel construction (hi-quality ball-bearing)
Outside pockets – the Maxlite 2 has a large exterior zippered pocket that can easily store files, papers, a tablet or laptop that isn’t too large. In addition, inside this is another, smaller zipped pocket that will hold boarding pass, keys, passport, ID, etc. You do have to slightly unzip the larger pouch first to get to the inner pocket, but I see that as added security for these important items.
Wheels – the TravelPro Maxlite 2 has sealed ball-bearing wheels that are rated ‘high bounce’. Besides being very quiet, they roll easily over many surfaces, including stairs, curbs and sidewalks.
Manufacturer reputation – TravelPro has a 20+ year reputation for building quality luggage and a strong, loyal following of repeat users, easily proven by spending the time sifting through the hundreds of positive reviews available on the web. That is a significant and objective vote of confidence I always look for.
Ability to Carry-on – If you are looking to buy carry-on luggage, you want to be sure that you won’t get stopped at the gate and told to check your bag because it exceeds size limits. Airlines have different carry-on size restrictions, and aircrafts have varying overhead bin dimensions. However, a 20” bag will pass carry-on muster for virtually all aircraft – including most smaller commuter jets and overseas airline carriers. The 22” can be stowed in the overhead compartments of most domestic aircraft, but is ‘iffy’ for smaller commuter planes. If you use the expansion zippers on the 22”, better plan on checking your bag. The 20” has a slightly smaller packing space, but if being able to carry on your bag in all situations is a deal-breaker, then the TravelPro Maxlite 2 – 20” is a good option for you.
Handles – the Maxlite 2 line has a telescoping handle that has two stops – one at 38” and another at 41”. The handles are sturdy and get good reviews for strength and durability. The only complaint from a few users is the handle ‘sticks’ the first few times the luggage is used, then generally loosens up. I find this to be true of every bag I purchase and test, though.
Materials – Maxlite 2 luggage is made of a high-quality polyester fabric that is water and stain resistant. Nylon is often thought to be a superior material for luggage. However, I did not find one user review out of hundreds I read that was negative concerning the quality of fabric on this bag. If you’re buying the 20” or 22” for carry-on purposes, the polyester fabric should be more than strong for your needs. If you are buying the larger sizes which will be subject to the brutality of airline baggage handlers, I might look closer at the Crew 9 line – TravelPro’s long-standing go-to line of dependable luggage.
How it Looks – The TravelPro Maxlite series has a modern, clean look, while still retaining an overall classic appearance. This line comes in black and a medium blue color, which is nice if you are tired of carrying a black bag. It’s nice-looking luggage.
What’s it missing? – The combined comments about what this bag is missing include an attachment strap to hook another bag on, and one more outside pocket.
Which of the TravelPro Maxlite bags fits your needs?
I’ve summarized your choices based on bag size. Easy, right?
- I want a Carry-on bag that holds 2-5 days of stuff: The 20″ or 22″ bags will work
- I want a Medium-sized bag that will hold 5-10 days of stuff ( you have to check these): Get the 25″ Maxlites
- I want a big suitcase that holds 7+ days of stuff (and I know I have to check this bag): The 28″ or 29″ bags are the largest
TravelPro® Maxlite 2 Warranty information
TravelPro® offers the fairly standard limited warranty on the Maxlite 2 line offered by most quality luggage manufacturers – in the event of materials or workmanship defects, they will repair or replace at their expense. This warranty does not cover “wear or damage caused by abuse, mishandling, accidental damage, inappropriate selection, or carelessness caused by the user.” Neither does it cover normal wear and tear.
Upon sifting through hundreds of TravelPro® user reviews on many different online luggage retail sites, I found, that for the most part, in the handful of times when someone purchased a TravelPro bag and it clearly was defective, the company either replaced or repaired the luggage. Except for the hassle, everyone seemed to be taken care of.
Also, I am a frequent ‘lurker’ in travel blogs and forums, and I notice that TravelPro representatives do the same thing, obviously to quickly address any issue out there concerning their luggage lines. Always a good sign to me when a company cares enough about its reputation to do this.
The Bottom Line – TravelPro® Maxlite luggage
TravelPro Maxlite 2 luggage is a solid value that will suit most needs, combining quality, good looks and a reasonable price. It’s extremely lightweight luggage that will last.
This luggage has a nice assortment of features, good-quality materials and craftsmanship and an affordable price (between $85-$130). You should expect to receive many years of reliable use from TravelPro Maxlite 2 luggage.
The Maxlite line comes in 2-wheel (Rollaboard) or 4-wheel (spinner) versions. Lots of people like spinner luggage because it can easily be turned lengthwise to roll down the aircraft aisle.
Best Place Online to buy TravelPro Maxlite luggage:
The Maxlite 2 collection is available at both Amazon.comand eBags.com. I find that Amazon almost always has the best price, so I would check there first. Both offer free shipping. If you are an Amazon Prime member (as you know), you’ll have the bag in hand within 2 days.